The 2014 syllabus for the CLRG Irish Dance World Championships were released this past week and they include an important and interesting rule about dresses.
The rules states:
(c) In order to comply with Health and Safety measures, all dancers lining up side stage prior to a competition will be asked to perform the simple exercise of raising arms to shoulder level unhindered. Any dancer unable to do so due to costume stitching or arm attachments will not be permitted to dance in that competition.
You can download the full syllabus from the CLRG website here. There are some other interesting changes around age group splits and dancing criteria.
The thought is that this rule is focusing on the “band” dresses that have come into fashion since the Worlds of this past year. This dress from Celtic Star is a good example:
Celtic Star’s Facebook Page
The question will be whether the bands were designed loose enough for dancers to raise their arms to shoulder level. There are few different styles of band dresses and band tightness so I imagine there will be a lot of dancers trying on their dresses and flapping around! Luckily – most of these dresses are attached with Velcro and loose enough to move with the dancer or designed to be more of an illusion than anything else.
However, for those who have just tried and realized that they’re not compliant, all is not lost. Many of these dresses were designed with snaps in the back so they can be easily altered. It wouldn’t be too hard to undo the straps from the back and free the arms. That should give you enough room to move your arms freely.
Doire Design’s Facebook
Of course, this rule is only in the 2014 Worlds syllabus so in theory any non-WQ could wear these dresses without any alteration. It is key to remember that this rule won’t go into effect until the 2014 Worlds. However, typically, the Worlds syllabus rules are a good indicator of rules that will get trickled down to the feis level. Best to be on the safe side and make sure you do your best bird imitation when trying on dresses. I’m getting a kick out of visualizing hundreds of girls lining up and raising their arms before they dance – add it to the list of crazy things we have to explain to people who come to a feis!
Stay Fashionable, Feisers.